If you have been following the news in our industry over the past year, you know the news has been bad. Stephen Oliver, president of Napma, has predicted that 50 percent of all martial arts schools will have to close in the next two years. R.S. Mitchell, who runs one of the most successful schools in the country, is predicting that one third of all schools will have to close. These are certainly scary numbers.
With today’s economy, we as martial arts school owners know things are tight, but we also know the importance of getting new students into our schools. Direct mail and paid advertisements, though valuable, are expensive marketing options. And though the bigger schools will always be able to afford these options, when things slow down smaller schools are left in a jam.
One of the great alternatives to traditional marketing is the use of publicity. Having an article written about you in the local newspaper or being interviewed by the news media positions you as an expert in your community. The best way to get this free publicity is by writing a well-written press release. A press release, simply put, is a statement prepared for the media that provides them with useful, accurate and interesting information. Remember, journalists are constantly searching for their next story and a well-written press release fulfills that need.
Today we are going to talk about one of the most important parts of your press release-your headline. The headline only has one job: to keep the journalist reading! You can make it outrageous, or it can be a spin on a current story. If you choose to make it outrageous, make sure you can back it up. You don’t want a journalist to call you and then not be able to support it! Here are some samples of headlines that I have used in the past with great success:
1. This one I used for the book Black Belt Parenting by Master Solomon Brenner: “7 Powerful Secrets for Parents to Get the Most Potential Out of Their Child.”
2. This headline I used for a Bully Busting Seminar I taught: “The Eight Survival Skills Every Student Must Know to Avoid Bullying.”
Take a look at some of the headlines you have written in the past and make sure they are going to keep the journalist reading. Remember: a headline about your school moving locations or about a new introductory special is not exciting!